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Historian of Freemasonry and author Angel Millar returns to the show in podcast episode 151 to discuss his recently published book Freemasonry: Foundation of the Western Esoteric Tradition, available from Salamander and Sons. Millar was our guest previously in podcast episode 50 and he’s also the man behind People of Shambhala, a webzine dedicated to understanding the body and spirit in modernity, from meditation to martial arts, lifestyle to subcultures, philosophy to spirituality, and more.
Angel Millar is the author of Freemasonry: A History (Thunder Bay / Greenwich Editions, 2005). His articles on Freemasonry and the esoteric, and related subjects, have also been published in the Journal of Indo-European Studies, Philalethes, The Transactions of the American Lodge of Research, The Empire State Mason, and The Compleat Master (Grand Lodge of New York’s textbook for Masters of Lodges), among others. Millar has also presented lectures to Masonic Lodges, the Philosophy Department of Mensa NY, and The Chancellor Robert R Livingston Masonic Library of Grand Lodge, NY. He was initiated into Freemasonry in late 2001, and raised to the sublime Degree of Master Mason in 2002. Millar later joined two invitational Masonic bodies, and took the Royal Arch and Knights Templar Degrees. He is also currently a full member of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism.
In the early 18th century the Masonic fraternity emerged to change the shape of the Western esoteric tradition forever. Within a few decades the fraternity had spawned numerous esoteric societies that claimed to communicate with spirits, teach the secrets of alchemy, and to perform rituals of healing. During the next century the still-surviving Masonic Rosicrucian society was established, attracting the founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn – William Wynn Westcott and S.L. MacGregor Mathers – and Theodor Reuss, co-founder of the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), among others.
Freemasonry: Foundation of the Western Esoteric Tradition explores the history of Western esotericism, beginning with the early Masonic Ritual, and its symbolism of natural law and death, essential to understanding the Craft, high-Degree Freemasonry, and the contemporary Western esoteric tradition. Other subjects explored include:
- Mystical Masonic societies, practicing séances, alchemy, healing, etc.;
- The Masonic influence on the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the O.T.O.;
- Masonic Lodges practicing Roman Catholic mysticism;
- The contemporary Masonic-Rosicrucian society;
- Aleister Crowley’s adventures in Freemasonry;
- The Rose Croix Degree;
- Freemasonry and alchemy;
- Wicca and Masonic symbolism.
Freemasonry: Foundation of the Western Esoteric Tradition includes a series of 12 rare etchings by Hejonagogerus Nugir, originally published in Freymäurerische Versammlungsreden der Gold- und Rosenkreutzer des alten Systems (Amsterdam, 1779), presented here as plates.
Millar also has a new book coming out soon that deals with the intersections between Islam and Freemasonry. Entitled The Crescent and the Compass, this work is remarkably revealing, timely, and important. We spend the last portion of the interview discussing this soon to be released book.
In the Occult of Personality Membership Section, Angel Millar continues discussing his work contained in Freemasonry: Foundation of the Western Esoteric Tradition including his observations about the reversal of what is esoteric and what is exoteric in modern times, the influence of traditionalist philosophy, more about Aleister Crowley’s Masonic adventures, and even Freemasonry as a conduit for the Mysteries of the Runes. Don’t miss that fascinating conversation. Just go to occultofpersonality.net/membership and sign up if you haven’t already. It’s the best way to support the podcast while receiving access to a tremendous amount of additional exclusive content.
Freemasonry: Foundation of the Western Esoteric Tradition by Angel Millar
Occult of Personality Podcast 50 – Freemasonry and the Western Esoteric Tradition
Freemasonry: A History by Angel Millar
intro music by Paul Avgerinos
outro music – “The GIlded Blade” by Luke Gartner-Brereton
This was so interesting! I am very much looking forward to reading Freemasonry: Foundation of the Western Esoteric Tradition (I already bought my copy 🙂 — and after hearing the podcast, am even more eagerly anticipating the release of the Crescent and the Compass than I was before.
I think there are very few, if any, modern scholars who match Angel Millar’s ability to research and explain Freemasonry to non-Masons, as well as bring further light to Freemasons.
Thanks again for focusing on such an excellent author!
As a Mason who has listened to a lot of Masonic podcasts please let me say these two interviews, the “exoteric” and the “esoteric” (membership section) were two of the very best conversations I have ever listened to. Greg, you and your guest both were very knowledgeable and you both made so many points and asked so many questions that could have sparked an entire podcast each on their own. Women in Freemasonry would be one; Mormonism and Masonry would be another for sure.
Greg your understanding of the Fraternity is a breath of fresh air for me personally. I have listened to OofP for years and I see more and more Masonic topics creeping in. I for one think this is wonderful – the quality of your questions and guests and the focus on Freemasonry as the spiritual tradition it so clearly is are just fantastic. Thanks.
Thank you, Catherine and Frater Tater. It is a real pleasure to talk with such a knowledgeable interviewer as Greg, and to be able to bring to light subjects of interest to the listeners of Occult of Personality.
Regarding The Crescent and The Compass, Catherine, it will be available in early to mid March. And, as for other podcasts Fr. Tater, we are planning to do another interview on the subject of the aforementioned book, i.e., Islam, Freemasonry, and Western esotericism — and there will be something for the membership section, too.